A new $400,000 scholarship programme to build global expertise on climate change, agriculture and food security will boost New Zealand’s contribution to agricultural greenhouse gas research, say Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

The scholarship, announced today at the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) Council meeting in Tsukuba, Japan, is a joint initiative of the GRA and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.

“Finding new ways to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions is crucial to meeting our ambitious 2030 Paris Agreement targets. This scholarship builds on the $20 million a year we already invest in agricultural emissions,” says Ms Bennett.

“Our farmers care deeply about our environment and we have some of the best environmental farming practices in the world,” says Mr Guy.

“Given a growing global population, it’s in everybody’s interest that we are successful in producing food more efficiently and sustainably. We need all major food producers and the international scientific community to be fully involved.

“Using science and research is a far more sensible approach for tackling agricultural emissions than that of Labour and Greens who would punish farmers and growers by including them in the ETS. This would add a cost that no other country imposes and ironically mean that consumers buy more products from overseas farmers who are not as environmentally efficient as us.”

New Zealand funding support will enable up to 40 recipients to be hosted in research centres of GRA partners and member countries over the next three years. New Zealand has been a long-standing donor of the CGIAR, most recently committing a further $11 million over two years to its network of research institutes around the world.

For more information see www.globalresearchalliance.org.

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